The end of the year was…complicated, mostly due to my father nearly dying of a heart attack. (He’s doing quite well now.) I wasn’t really a functional human being, but I did get my camera out a couple times.
The first of the winter succulents to bloom: a species of Madagascar aloe.
Various wild mushrooms/toadstools growing out in the field.
The return of the mushrooms/toadstools, a larger species this time, thoroughly dusted with frost.
Fallen cottonwood leaves got similar embellishments.
I visited the Santa Margarita Wildflower Festival, a small to-do in a semi-local town. I’ve now got several packets of California-native flower seeds, which will be lovely additions to the existing collection on the property. Thus inspired, I took a few photos of what’s blooming at home right now. (Click to embiggen.)
Red Stemmed Filaree (an invasive non-native species, actually, but their seeds form spirals, and the green seed pods can be made into a pair of scissors for one’s pointless amusement, so I’m fond of them)
Freesia (okay, it’s not a wildflower, but it was blooming in the backyard when I went to head inside, so it got included)
Bonus points to me for remembering this time: camera settings! They’re a thing that exists! So I futzed about with my f-stops to get more interesting results in my depth of field. I’m so rusty at doing Proper Photography ™, but I got some decent shots this time, yeah?
I enjoyed taking a ludicrous number of photos: well over 100 shots. (Not counting the full roll of film Mum took as well; gotta wait to have that developed.) A lot of them turned out mediocre. I don’t have a long lens for my camera, so it just flat couldn’t get close enough at times. Also I, uh, forgot to switch to the action setting when I really could have used it, so I’ve got some lovely blurs of butterflies in flight.
Here are a few of the best shots! (Click to embiggen.)
I’ve been idly tinkering with the idea of taking more photographs lately–an impulse that hits me every few months. I had seen someone else post a photo of the final sunset of 2015 in their area, so I thought I’d do the same. The sun had already gone down, and so it ended up being the last light of the year for me.
Of course, then I got the clever idea to get the first light of 2016 as well. Which is why I hauled my warm, vulnerable carcass out of bed at 6:45–having consulted a calendar of such things–to catch the first pastel glow behind the frosted fields and hills.
Of course, it wasn’t exactly light yet at that hour. But I needed the extra time to don the approximately forty-two layers of clothing needed to go outside. It was 26 degrees F, and I am still Southern California born and bred. That is not a temperature I endure without assistance.